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Articles from 2009 In May


Best Practices for Self-Storage Marketing

The self-storage market, like the global economy, is changing, and many unknowns lie ahead. Storage operators face intense competition, increased expenses and shifting consumer demand. This e-book provides insight to the critical area of facility marketing and promotion, including Web strategies, e-mail campaigns, print advertising and more. The collection of articles specifically addresses topics such as how to use the Internet to capture self-storage customers, the importance of tracking your marketing efforts, converting leads to customers, using social media to market self-storage, e-mail marketing campaigns, print and online Yellow Pages, and hosting community events.

Getting on Board With Boat and RV Storage

Long considered a niche market in the self-storage industry, boat and RV storage has emerged as a facility differentiator in crowded markets. High-end sites with amenities designed specifically for boat and RV customers are popping up in strategic locations across the country. Storage owners looking to expand their existing sites are also considering this add-on service.

What does it take to tap into the growing boat/RV market? Inside Self-Storage talks with Caesar Wright, president of Mako Steel Inc., a design/build company specializing in storage construction, about why the niche is thriving, what makes a good boat/RV site, and how operators can market the offering.  

Why is boat/RV storage a hot topic right now?

For storage investors and developers, boat and RV storage represents a niche that still has some great momentum in a lot of markets. In areas where self-storage is overbuilt or at capacity, boat and RV units are still in demand. The flip side of that is, for the consumer, these types of larger units can still be hard to find. 
 
What are some of the trends in boat/RV storage?

We’ve seen developers’ plans run the gamut from your basic canopy or roof-only structures to individually climate-controlled units with motor-operated doors and storage mezzanines. Many developers recognize that the target market for a boat/RV storage site is measurably different from that of self-storage. They’re focusing on the needs of the RV customer by offering wash bays, dump stations, valet service and club-house-type amenities that appeal to his sense of security and accessibility. 
 
What do you need for an ideal boat/RV storage site?

As with any real estate investment, location is key. Land adjacent to major freeways or arterials leading to destination areas can be good build sites in the right markets. Equally important are the size of the parcel and the cost of the property. Developers used to self-storage rules-of-thumb will need to look for cheaper dirt and bigger parcels. 

Tell us about running this kind of facility. How does it differ from traditional self-storage?

One of the great attractions to this type of development is your business does not see the turnover in units or the delinquency rates typical to self-storage. While a highly secure site is an amenity that crosses over into self-storage as well, the RV customer storing a half-million-dollar motor coach on your property is going to be more discerning when it comes to potential theft. 
 
Are there sustainable applications in building boat/RV storage?

As with self-storage, RV/boat storage offers a great opportunity to incorporate solar panels. By nature, this type of development offers a ton of rooftop space, and if you’re in the right market, this can also be an ancillary money maker. Some municipalities will buy back excess energy production, and some will let you bank it for future use. If areas where either of these is an option, we’re seeing an average three- to five-year return on investment with this type of green building.
 
What are the building basics for boat/RV storage?

I refer to boat/RV-storage buildings as self-storage on steroids. We’re using the same basic principals in structural design and construction, but increasing the height and width of the units. As for the overall site design, drive aisles and turn radius need to be increased exponentially, and traffic flow in and out of the site needs to be heavily considered.
 
Tell us about the condo trend.

We’re seeing more developers looking at the option of storage condos to own, minimizing the need for rental spaces. This is an interesting change, and one that is still in its relative infancy. Developers are really tailoring their developments in this instance to the high-end consumer. They’re appealing to a target market that isn’t interested in throwing money away on rental space but looking to invest in and build value with ownership.
 
Who are boat/RV-storage customers? How does a self-storage operator market to them?

There are an estimated 8 million RVs in the United States, about one for every 12 homes. Over the last 25 years, RV and boat ownership has increased 58 percent, with the largest gains being in the 30- to 45-year-old bracket. With the introduction of CC&Rs and HOA rules about boat/RV parking, we’ve seen a spike in need that developers have not yet tapped. While in many markets, there are self-storage facilities to cater to the needs of the population, the boat/RV storage market is still lacking.

While there are no hard and fast rules to marketing this product, a good tip is to keep the consumer in mind. RV and boat spaces will draw tenants from a larger pool than the 3- to 5-mile radius standard for self-storage, and the consumers will likely be more concerned with accessibility, security and access.

Related Articles:

The Benefits of Developing Condominium Self-Storage

One-on-One With Caesar Wright

Keeping Boat/RV Construction Costs in Check

Capture Boat/RV-Storage Tenants With Target Marketing

Self-Storage Sales Tax in Illinois: One Step Closer to Reality

Illinois Senate Bill 750, which lists self-storage as a service subject to state sales tax, moved on to its third reading in the Senate yesterday, putting it only one vote away from heading to the House. If passed, the bill will require that all self-storage facilities in the state collect sales tax on unit rentals, perhaps as early as July 2009.
 
The Illinois Self Storage Association is working diligently to stall the bill until the fall session and ultimately remove self-storage from the bill. Local self-storage owners are encouraged to call their state senators and representatives and urge them to vote “no” on SB 750.

The pending bill will be discussed at the upcoming Great Lakes Self Storage Expo in Lisle, Ill., June 4-5, which will be attended by self-storage professionals throughout the Midwest. Information about the event can be found at www.glss-expo.com.

Related Articles:

Self-Storage Could Be Taxed in Illinois

Michigan Self-Storage Operators Freed From Service Tax

Real Estate Roundup: Sales Tax—A Double Demon?

Refunds on Self-Storage Sales Tax Available in South Dakota

North Carolina Seeks to Tax Self-Storage

Illinois, Indiana Self Storage Associations Host Great Lakes Expo

Dog-Control Event Hosted at Oregon Self-Storage Facility

Dog owners in Marion County, Ore., can get their dogs registered penalty free at Airport Self-Storage in Salem tomorrow. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m, Marion County Dog Control is offering amnesty for late fees and licensing violations. Licensing, microchipping and vaccinations also will be available, courtesy of the Santiam Equine Cordon Road Veterinary Clinic. License discounts are available for spayed/neutered dogs. Only checks or exact change will be accepted, and dogs must be on leashes or in carriers.
 
Dog owners in Marion County are required by state law to buy a license when a dog turns 6 months old. Licenses also are required within 30 days of acquiring a dog or moving into the county. License fees support the dog-control program, responsible for rescuing stray and injured dogs, handling dog complaints and more.

Source: Salem Statesman Journal, License your dog and avoid the penalty

Related Articles:

Marketing Through Special Events : Have fun, be creative, make more money

Host With the Most : Get ‘em to your site with special events

Marketing & Man’s Best Friend : The day our storage facility went to the dogs—literally!

K-9 Capers : Arizona facility relies on police dogs to keep the peace

Metro Self-Storage of Elmhurst Celebrates Grand Opening

Metro Self Storage in Elmhurst, Ill., will host a grand opening June 11. The event will include free lunch and raffles for prizes such as an iPod and six months of free rent at the facility.
 
Source: The Doings Elmhurst, New in Town

Related Articles:

Opening a New Facility : A guide to life's little surprises for the self-storage novice

Marketing Through Special Events : Have fun, be creative, make more money

Host With the Most : Get ‘em to your site with special events

MJ Partners Sells Interest in Elmhurst Self Storage

Patriot Self Storage Hosts Grand Openings in North Port

Door to Door Storage Donates to City Year Boston Serve-a-thon

Door to Door Storage Inc., a national provider of portable-storage containers and moving services, has donated the free use and transportation of storage containers to City Year Boston for its May 30th Serve-a-thon. The containers will hold supplies and equipment during this community-service event focused on revitalizing Boston-area schools, playgrounds, vacant lots, housing developments and parks. More than 1,500 volunteers will join in the effort that aims to beautify green spaces, transform schools, paint murals and provide support to community organizations.
 
City Year is a non-profit organization whose primary goal is to build democracy through citizen service, civic engagement, leadership development and social entrepreneurship. The program offers 17- to 24-year olds the opportunity to engage in 10 months of full-time community service. Participants come from diverse backgrounds and put their idealism to work by tutoring and mentoring school children, reclaiming public spaces, and organizing after-school programs, school vacation camps and youth corps. The Serve-a-thon was originated to raise public awareness and funds for corps members.
 
Founded in 1996, Door to Door has operations in more than 20 U.S. metropolitan markets.

Related Articles:

Door To Door Storage Offers Summer Storage Package for College Students

Door To Door Storage Participates in Trash to Treasure Program

Door To Door Storage Participates in Thanksgiving House With USD

'Think Green & Give' Campaign Supported by Door To Door Storage

Risky Business : Mobile storage struggles to find market

Extra Space Storage CEO to Present at REITWeek 2009

Spencer F. Kirk, chairman and CEO of Extra Space Storage Inc., will present an overview of the company followed by a question-and-answer period at REITWeek 2009: the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) Investor Forum. The presentation will take place on June 3, 3:30 p.m. ET, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
 
The presentation will be broadcast live over the Internet and can be accessed by all interested parties by visiting www.extraspace.com and clicking on the "investor relations" link at the bottom of the home page. A replay will be available on the website for 30 days, beginning 24 hours after the live presentation.
 
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Extra Space Storage is a real estate investment trust that owns or operates 698 self-storage properties in 33 states and Washington, D.C. The company's properties comprise more than 51 million square feet of rentable space.
 
REITWeek is the largest event of its kind to showcase the companies, personalities and strategies that comprise the publicly traded real estate marketplace. Attendees will experience three days of presentations, networking and discussions of key real estate investment issues and trends.

Related Articles:

Citi Analyst Advises Hold on Extra Space Storage

Extra Space Storage Launches Public Offering of Common Stock

Kirk Takes the Reins at Extra Space Storage Inc.

Morningstar Mini-Storage Opens Third Charlotte Facility

Morningstar Properties LLC, in its joint venture with Harrison Street Real Estate Capital LLC, opened its third Morningstar Mini-Storage facility in Charlotte, N.C., this month. Located in the growing community near the National Whitewater Center, the two-story property features 600 units totaling approximately 60,000 rentable square feet. Nearly 70 percent of the units are climate-controlled. Other site amenities include a retail center and free Wi-Fi for customers.
 
The project was designed by architectural firm Overcash Demmitt; Edifice Construction was the general contractor; and Arcadis provided civil engineering services.
 
This is the third Morningstar Mini-Storage facility to open in the Charlotte area in the past six months. Two additional facilities are in development.
 
Founded in Matthews, N.C., in 1981, Morningstar is a developer, builder and operator of specialty real estate types across the Southeast. The company has developed and operated more than 70 self-storage projects totaling nearly 6 million square feet.

Based in Chicago, HSRE provides equity capital at the property level to developers and operators in the healthcare, education and storage sectors.

Related Articles:

Morningstar Opens New Self-Storage Facility in Charlotte, NC

Morningstar and Harrison Street Form Alliance With 2Guys Storage

Morningstar Acquires Village Self Storage for $7.8 Million

Morningstar Mini-Storage Buys 10 Facilities

National Self-Storage Network Created by U-Store-It

U-Store-It Trust, a self-storage real estate investment trust, has established a national network of self-storage facilities that spans all 50 states. As of March 31, the company owned 386 self-storage facilities in 27 states and the District of Columbia. It has contracted with third-party partners to provide self-storage at approximately 150 additional locations, with approximately 250 additional locations in the process of joining the expanding network.
 
Participants in the U-Store-It Network do not compete with company-owned or operated facilities. Network locations are independently owned and operated and are not affiliated with U-Store-It. Parties interested in joining the network should visit www.ustoreit.com/u-store-it-network, e-mail [email protected], or call 800.691.2003 for information.

Related Articles:

U-Store-It Announces Second Quarter 2009 Dividend

U-Store-It Trust Announces 1Q 2009 Dividend

U-Store-It Launches TV and Radio Advertising

U-Store-It Self-Storage Changes Corporate Headquarters

LeClaire Sells Albuquerque U-Store-It Facility

All One Storage Acquires Waukesha Self-Storage for $1.8M

All One Storage LLC acquired a self-storage facility in Waukesha, Wis., from Waukesha Self-Storage LLC for $1.82 million. The 36,347-square-foot industrial property was built in 1983 on 2.4 acres of land. The sale was part of a 1031 exchange for the buyer. Mark Balistierri of Creative Equities Co. Inc. represented the seller. Lorna Mueller of The Realty Co. represented the buyer.
 
Source: CoStar Group, Self- Storage Facility Sells for $1.8M

Related Articles:

Self-Storage in the North-Central States: Real Estate Snapshot

An Open Letter: Self-Storage Real Estate in This Economy

Wolf River Partners Buys Cleveland Self-Storage Property

Snowed Under [Self-Storage Talk]